Presidential political advisor Mostafa Hegazy said that the United States suffered a “strategic blow after 30 June” and “overestimated the Muslim Brotherhoods’ power on the ground”, in a televised interview Sunday.
He said: “Egypt has witnessed over the past three years a revolution, a regime change and a currently a republic…society has to understand that revolution has to surpass the protest stage and begin with actual change.”
Hegazy, a political strategist and former professor at the University of South California, was appointed by President Adly Mansour as the presidency’s political adviser after the 30 June events.
“The Muslim Brotherhood tried sending a message to the USA that they could be the regions’ policemen and an efficient substitute to Mubarak’s regime, guaranteeing peace with Israel in the process. The USA over exaggerated the power of the religious right [wing] and this is considered a strategic failure,” Hegazy added.
With regards to the Muslim Brotherhood’s situation with the current government, Hegazy said that “he does not believe that there is a single wise leader within the Muslim Brotherhood Organisation at the moment before adding that the group has to seek retribution from society their actions which terrorised Egyptian society.”
He added that the “strategy built by the US over many years was destroyed after the 30 June Revolution.”
“The past three years revealed that the Egyptian society is in deep polarisation and that there are states living within the state,” Hegazy said, after which he proposed for this to be remedied and unity to ensue.
On rumours that he is serving other agendas and that the there is internal conflict within the presidency, Hegazy said that “these are attempts to break the unity between us…there is no conflict within the presidency…I advise on fundamental issues and discuss with the prime minister on daily matters.”
Hegazy stated that the world had witnessed democracy prevail in the past, however, over the past year, it is becoming more clear that that “meritocracy should start surfacing in Egypt”.
On Mohamed ElBaradei’s resignation, Hegazy revealed that “it was [ElBaradei’s] personal choice and a decision which I am not entitled to comment on.” In response to accusations of being ElBaradei’s man in office, he said: “I serve the state only and not one person.”
“There is a conflict between the past and the future in Egypt where groups from the past want chaos to remain the same,” he said, referring to the Mubarak regime, which lasted for 30 years.
Hegazy explained that he believes “societies have had a major shift in ideologies ever since the age of industrialisation ended with the destruction of the Berlin Wall; citizens now have a stream of information through which they could create an opinion for themselves.”
On 12 October the Egyptian Cabinet approved a new law regarding freedom of assembly. The draft law has faced criticism, where political groups and human rights movements called on interim President Adly Mansour to scrap the bill.
“Concerning the Protest Law, I believe that protests are vital for society to exercise their rights and understand their duties; however, I believe that members of society would agree that it should be organised,” Hegazy said.
On the disagreement over the Protest Law, he said: “Previously, a law such as the demonstration law and the university guards may have passed passively; however, currently, a constructive debate was produced due to society being more politically aware.”
Hegazy hoped that “society would start placing certain standards guaranteeing the efficiency of people who would represent us. Egyptian society is becoming increasingly aware of how efficiency should be a standard.”
“The military is an institution in the country just like any other institution that needs to be offered protection by society so that it would not be affected by a political ideology or religious entity in the future.”
“We need to guarantee that future institutions do not abuse their power regardless of the political power that’s occupying the position,” he added, answering a question regarding the effect of the military on the constitution and the presidency.
“Our society was stable for 30 years, but it was in chaos: bureaucracy, the traffic situation and dealing with government institutions are all examples of the chaos Egypt was facing… We need to get out of the chaos we’ve suffered from,” Hegazy said.
He added: “The state institutions must evolve where civil society, who have almost 10 million contributors, need to be incorporated within the political system”